Rapino Cashes In

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has sold 640,000 shares of his common stock holdings in the company, cashing in a cool $11.7 million, in two transactions in recent days, according to an Aug. 13 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Photo: AP Photo

The total number of shares disposed of represents almost 40 percent of his direct holdings.

The selloff was explained to the New York Times by LN spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson as for “estate-planning purposes.” It does not affect his roughly 3 million stock options.

It still leaves Rapino with well north of 1 million shares and, Peterson added, represents only a small portion of his total equity stake in the company.

She also points out that the selloff is Rapino’s first in Live Nation’s eight years as a publicly traded company.

It was spun off from Clear Channel Communications in 2005.

Wall Street tends to take notice when a company’s chief exec disposes of such a large amount of stock and appears to have reacted negatively in the initial hours after the SEC filing was reported.

Live Nation stock dropped 79 cents, or 4.79 percent, from the previous day’s close at press time.

The selloff coincides with press reports that Live Nation is preparing to push Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard out the door, though no announcement has been made.

Even the rumor mill surrounding Hubbard’s standing has not appeared to affect LYV’s share price significantly.

The time certainly appears right to sell: LYV shares have spiked – nearly doubling – from year-end 2012 and the departure of former Live Nation executive chairman Irving Azoff.